Goodbye France, Hello Dubai

All right Dubai. I’m ready for you. I think! It’s been exactly one year since I quit my corporate job in Hong Kong and took a ‘gap year’ at the ripe old age of 29, and now the las lap has come to an end. The idea of bumming around and travelling for a year…

Time to wine

According to this postcard from a vineyard in Bordeaux, in order to have some moderation in your drinking, follow these basic rules: you should have one day a week when you don’t drink, women should only have two glasses at any time, men should only have three, and four should be the maximum in any…

France could fete!

  So now I know where we get it from. Trinidad was once a French colony and I have realised that we have been very fortunate to inherit the following from their culture: a compulsion to mako everyone around them, a flirtatious manner, a ‘don’t worry about tomorrow’ attitude, and a love of music, liming,…

Liberté, égalité, fraternité?

Everyone seems to be protesting these days. In Saudi Arabia, women are fighting for their right to be able to drive a car and have their own personal mobility. In Greece, everyone is fighting the government’s new austerity measures. Moroccans are protesting against their King’s absolute power. In a small town in China, people rioted…

Bums in the park…

And the street… and the sidewalk… and the squares… and the doorsteps… and under the bridges… and outside the supermarkets… bums bums all over the place! I keep wondering, for a town so small (about 400,000 people) in a country so prosperous, why are there so many homeless people in Toulouse? I’m not sure if…

Liming in Toulouse

My friends whom I just stayed with in London just popped over to Toulouse for the last few days, taking a short break and exploring the Pink City. Mostly we have been walking around, taking pictures, and eating a lot of amazing food and drinking far too much wine. Yesterday in particular was a lovely…

5,000 Calories and Counting

I thought that things like a massive roti full of chicken, bodi and pumpkin and so heavy you have to hold it with two hands was something that sits heavily in your stomach. I thought that a Sunday lunch, with a big piece of macaroni pie, stew chicken and callalloo chased with a cold beer…

La vie en rose

Toulouse is nicknamed ‘The Pink City’ and any visitor to the city will see why — almost every building is made of bricks of different shades of pink which come from this region. The colours range from an orangey sandy colour to a light dusty baby pink. Even the rooftops are made with pink or…

Doggy do right

French people seem to be mad about dogs. Everyone has one, whether on a leash, in a bag, in a basket on their bicycle, or even carrying them around in their arms like a baby. (At least they don’t put them in clothing, as people tend to do in Asia.) Even homeless people all have…

Today in Toulouse

Today I went to the nearby Sunday market at St. Aubin’s square where I found all of the following and more: cheese… fresh bread… anchovies… tapenades… olives… cakes… pastries… empanadas… giant pots of paella… chickens turning on a hot rotisserie… tables full of herbs and spices… fresh basil, rosemary and dill… I wanted to eat…

Le flâneur de Paris

In French, the word “flâneur” means to wander around the city streets, strolling semi-aimlessly, enjoying the sights, the sounds, and the smells of every day life. If my first day in Paris was a high-speed tour of a jam-packed itinerary, on my second day I decided to slow down my pace, and do a little…

Adieu London, Bounjour Paris!

And just like that, I was in France. The Eurostar train from London to Paris takes just two hours and fifteen minutes. We passed through the underwater channel, and then voila! Goodbye England. Amazing how close everything is in Europe. If only they had such high speed trains connecting Asia together! From Gare de Nord…

Norwich, Stamford and Cambridge

Visiting another old friend gave me the perfect excuse to make a second short trip out of London and see other parts of England. This time I headed north to Norwich to visit an old chum whom I have known since I was about 13 or so, and who recently migrated to the UK with…

In an English Garden

On Thursday I left the city streets of London and headed about an hour south to the little town of Send, in Surrey, to visit a Trini friend who has been living here in England for seven or eight years now. It is amazing how the time really flies — the last time I saw…

Lovely London

You know what I love about London? It’s old. And I don’t mean old and decrepit. It’s old and beautiful. Everywhere you look, there are well preserved brick buildings, stone towers, fantastic old architecture. This is old world old. And this is the kind of old that is hard to find in Asia. China of…